NBA Summer League

Report: Bulls to add Justin Simon on Exhibit 10 contract

Report: Bulls to add Justin Simon on Exhibit 10 contract

According to reports, the Bulls have signed former St. John's guard Justin Simon to an Exhibit 10 contract.

Simon played three seasons of NCAA basketball, one year with Arizona and two years at St. John's under the tutelage of NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.

The Exhibit 10 contract is a fairly new situation, allowed by the NBA's last Collective Bargaining Agreement. What it means is that a player under this type of contract will get the league's minimum salary on a non-guaranteed deal that can include bonuses up to $50,000. 

The deal will allow Simon to participate in training camp with the Bulls with the goal of making the roster. The most likely scenario in these situations—i.e. when a player does not make the NBA roster— is that the player is waived before the season starts and assigned to that team's NBA G League affiliate.

So in layman's terms, Bulls fans should expect to see Simon in Hoffman Estates with the Windy City Bulls for the 2019-20 season, that is, as long as he doesn't choose to play overseas or elsewhere. With an Exhibit 10 contract, there are two ways a player can guarantee the full amount of their bonus money: spending at least 60 days on the G League affiliate team or getting their Exhibit 10 deal converted into a Two-Way contract (G League+ NBA deal combined, paid based on what league you are playing in at the time).

Simon is an intriguing add for the Bulls. Currently, the Chicago roster doesn't contain any guards shorter than 6-foot-3, and at 6-foot-5 with a massive 6-foot-11 wingspan, Simon certainly fits the mold.

Simon was the 2018-19 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, finishing in the top 10 in the Big East in both blocks and steals. In his junior year, he was also solid offensively, scoring 10.4 points per game while racking up 104 total assists over 34 games.

We all know how Jim Boylen loves players with the "dog" mentality and Simon's aggressive defense surely caught the eye of Boylen and the Bulls front office. 

In the 2019-20 NBA Summer League, Simon played for the Bulls, averaging 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. Unfortunately, Simon did not make a single 3-point shot over his NBA Summer League stint with the Bulls but he has shown the ability to hit the 3-point shot at times at the NCAA level. For his college career, he was a 35.1 percent 3-point shooter but those figures were helped by his sophomore season in which he hit 15 of his 36 shots from deep (41.7 percent).

Simon is not likely to shoot it well from the outside right away at the professional level but this is an important thing to monitor as his jump shot—as with most highly-skilled defensive players—will be the swing skill that will impact his ability to potentially make the NBA roster. 

The Bulls reportedly start training camp on October 1 and fans will likely get their first chance to see Simon in action at the first preseason game vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on October 7 on NBC Sports Chicago.


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Bulls get a player on Bleacher Report's Top 25 NBA Summer League Players list

Bulls get a player on Bleacher Report's Top 25 NBA Summer League Players list

The NBA Summer League has given us a look at some of the top young talent in the league and through four games we have seen the Bulls get solid recognition for the performances of their two 2019 draft picks, Coby White and Daniel Gafford. Bleacher Report released their list ranking the Top 25 players of NBA Summer League, with Gafford making the list for his dominant inside presence. 

Through four summer league games, Gafford is averaging 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and is shooting an impressive 63.6 percent from the field. 

Gafford has been an awesome roll-man, making the Gafford-White pick-and-roll a successful play that could carry over to the regular season when they likely share minutes together on the second unit. 

While the scoring has been great, the Bulls coaching staff is likely more excited by the defensive numbers of the uber-athletic big. The Bulls were 26th in the league last season in blocks (4.3 per game) and could definitely use a player who can fly in (at full speed) from the weakside to protect the basket, an element that was particularly lacking after Wendell Carter Jr. went down last season. 

While White has been explosive during summer league, averaging 17 points per game, he has averaged just as many turnovers as assists. Gafford has played more under control within his straightforward role, which has been limited to rim runs and rebound putbacks on offense, and active shot-blocking and cleaning the glass on defense. 

Of course, NBA Summer League is not a massive indicator of long-term success by any means. But the fact that Gafford is performing so well should definitely give the Bulls front office confidence in the fact that they just signed him to a four-year deal with two guaranteed seasons. With Carter and Cristiano Felicio as the only true centers on the roster—with room for Lauri Markkanen center minutes—Gafford could make a bigger than expected impact in his rookie season. 

Bulls Talk Podcast: Summer League impressions, Kris Dunn's future and Kawhi to the Clippers


Bulls Talk Podcast: Summer League impressions, Kris Dunn's future and Kawhi to the Clippers

On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill discuss Coby White's Summer League debut, Kris Dunn's future and how Kawhi Leonard going to the Clippers affects the NBA.

01:30 Coby White's adjustment to the NBA game

04:30 Initial thoughts on Daniel Gafford

06:00 Who has better shot at backup to Carter Jr, Luke Kornet or Gafford?

07:30 Will Shaq Harrison return to the Bulls?

09:00 Does Kris Dunn have a future with the Bulls?

11:15 Where will Russell Westbrook play next season?

14:30 Zach LaVine looking to take the next step in his development

17:00 Kawhi Leonard and Paul George heading to the Clippers

21:00 Possible changes to free agency in the future

24:00 Kendall on his charity golf outing

27:00 Who is the favorite to win the 2020 title?

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: